Tracy was happy for a brief moment when he saw Rob with United Express turning into the TnT company yard north of Belfield. Tracy said to himself, “I hope this is my college catalogue from NYU, and not some hardware or pipe fittings.” When he saw Rob step down from his seat with a small, lightweight package, Tracy was relieved.
Rob brought him brief moments of happiness whenever he delivered his CDs, DVDs, and books. Tracy could have just as easily, and more cheaply, had these things delivered by regular mail, but he didn’t want to wait. He took his package from Rob’s outstretched hand, and Rob immediately turned and climbed back into his United Express van and drove away. Tracy thought to himself, “That guy is kind of strange and peculiar. I remember one weekend I saw him pulled over off the side of the road using his phone to take a picture of a dead pheasant that had jut been hit by a car.”
Tracy was not going to open the small package that he had just received from United Express, because he didn’t want anyone seeing, commenting on, or picking up his NYU college catalogue. All of the people in his family were musically talented, they could all play more than one instrument, but none of them had any interest in music beyond Folk and Country. At home he would be much less likely to be ridiculed for his interests, but at the shop and out in the field, his father and brothers would bring things up in order to get a laugh out of the workers. Tracy didn’t want to hear any jokes, queries, or comments about him wanting to go to New York from the workers and the people in the office, that the sight of this college catalogue would certainly trigger.
After all of the packages in Rob’s delivery van had been delivered by 3:00 p.m., he headed back to Dickinson. Even though the one inch long wood screw that he had forced into the front tire of his delivery van had not caused it to lose much air, he went ahead and squirted the whole can of Fix-a-Flat into the tire. Rob did not want to have to explain to his supervisor Gary how the tire went flat out in the badlands, but it later held air just fine without needing repair, so he squirted the whole can of Fix-a-Flat into the tire to make it look like it had been leaking air.
Rob arrived back in Dickinson at 3:45 p.m., checked in with his supervisor Gary, did some paper work, and clocked out at 4:00 p.m. This was about the normal, usual time that Rob clocked out. He got in his car, a white Subaru WRX, and drove back to his parents’ house in Dickinson where he lived.
In Dickinson, especially once the oil boom started in 2006, most of the local people did not move out of their parents’ home for several years after graduating from High School. Before the oil boom, there were so few jobs in Dickinson, that young people had a hard time finding and getting a job that would pay enough for them to get a place of their own. Now that there was an oil boom going on, young people could make a lot more money, but now the cost of an old one-bedroom apartment in Dickinson was $1,500 per month. Rob was making very good money for someone who was 21 years old, $750 per week with overtime, but he was using this money to make the payments on the $20,000 Subaru WRX that he bought.
Back at his parents’ house, Rob began taking things out of his cargo pants pockets before he took them off to be washed: car keys, pocket knife, change, wallet, aluminum foil, zip-lock bag with pheasant feathers in it, condoms…what’s this? There was a tear in each of the two remaining condom wrappers. Where did this come from? Rob thought, “Did that wood screw I had in my pocket tear a hole in these, or was it the quills on the pheasant feathers that did this?”
(The characters in this novel are fictional, and are not based on real or actual persons. The events in this novel are fictional. Any resemblance to real or actual persons, or actual events, is entirely coincidental.)